Here is my selection of the best lightweight headlamps for 2019 which I would consider taking to my next hiking, backpacking or camping trip.

Having a headlamp can be a life saver, and it’s a good idea to have one with you in your backpack especially during the winter.

The Petzl NAO+, for example, has plenty of features and you can also connect the Petzl NAO Belt Kit to carry the battery under the jacket which is especially useful to prevent battery drain in colder regions or during the winter. I have also used the previous model of the Petzl NAO in Swedish Lapland.

However, if you are looking for a smaller headlamp which is also waterproof, then I would rather pick the Black Diamond Spot which features red light and 200 Lumen - sufficient for hiking even in the Alps.

Also, have a look at our FAQ on headlamps.

Best headlamps 2019 On our winter camping trip in Alta - Norway

Weight comparison table

HeadlampWeightLumen
Petzl E+LITE0.95 oz. / 27 grams26
Petzl Bindi1.2 oz. / 35 grams200
Princeton Tec Axis2.9 oz. / 83 grams250
Petzl Actic3.2 oz. / 90 grams200
Black Diamond Spot 3.2 oz. / 90 grams200
Black Diamond Storm3.9 oz. / 110 grams250
Petzl Reactik+4 oz. / 115 grams300
Petzl Tikka XP4.2 oz. / 119 grams180
Petzl Nao+6.5 oz. /185 grams750
Black Diamond Icon8.1 oz. / 230 grams500

Black Diamond Icon

Black Diamond Icon

Weight: 8.1 oz. / 230 grams
Lumen: 500
Watertightness: IP X7 (watertight)
Max Beam Distance: 110 meters

With 220 grams and ‘only’ 500 Lumen, the Black Diamond Icon has a pretty good Lumen/Weight ratio.

If you are planning to go kayaking or packrafting, then you should probably take a watertight headlamp like the Black Diamond Icon with you.

However, with its external battery, it needs probably more room in your backpack, and you will also carry more weight on your head.


Black Diamond Spot

Weight: 3.2 oz. / 90 grams
Lumen: 200
Watertightness: IP X8 (waterproof)
Max Beam Distance: 80 meters

The Black Diamond Spot comes with 200 lumens, and you can easily adjust its brightness with the headlamps PowerTap technology.

This headlamp also has a lock mode which makes the headlamp safe from accidental battery drain.

There is also a red night-vision mode available. The Black Diamond Spot needs 3 AAA batteries and is waterproof. This is probably a great headlamp for winter activities or water sports


Black Diamond Storm

Black Diamond Storm

Weight: 3.9 oz. / 110 grams
Lumen: 250
Watertightness: IP X67
Max Beam Distance: 80 meters

The Black Diamond Storm works with 4 AAA batteries, is water resistant and offers 250 lumens.

The headlamp also features the PowerTap technology so you can quickly switch between different light modes, green and red light.

The Black Diamond Spot also comes with a lock mode.


Petzl Actik

Weight: 3.17 oz. / 90 grams
Lumen: 300
Watertightness: IP X4 (water resistant)
Max Beam Distance: 90 meters

The Petzl Actik comes with 300 lumens and could be a good choice for multiple outdoor activities like running, hiking, climbing or mountaineering.

The headlamp also comes with different lighting modes allowing you to increase the light while on the trail while lowering the light when reading in your tent.

This headlamp also features an emergency whistle on its reflective headband.

The Petzl Actik requires 3 AAA batteries.


Petzl Bindi

Weight: 1.2 oz. / 35 grams
Lumen: 200
Watertightness: IP X7 (watertight)
Max Beam Distance: 40 meters

The Petzl Bindi headlamp comes with impressive 200 lumens while only weights 35 grams.

This headlamp is an excellent choice for exercising in the city or the mountains and can be recharged with a USB cable. Moreover, the Bindi is waterproof.

The Petzl Bindi will be available from March 2019.


Petzl e+LITE

Petzl e+LITE

Weight: 0.95 oz. / 27 grams
Lumen: 26
Watertightness: IP X7 (watertight)
Max Beam Distance: 100 meters

The Petzl e+LITE is the emergency headlamp from Petzl.

It could be the right choice for ultralight enthusiasts who can manage with less light.

You can use the headlamp in a temperature range from -30 C to +60 C and store its batteries for ten years.

If you want to see more into the distance, then this is probably not the headlamp you should consider to buy.


Petzl NAO+

Weight: 6.5 oz. /185 grams
Lumen: 750
Watertightness: IP X4 (water resistant)
Max Beam Distance: 140 meters

The Petzl NAO+ features 750 lumens. Its reactive lightning system lets you also adjust the light level automatically without turning or pushing any buttons on the headlamp.

With reactive lightning, you will have a burn time of 6 hours and 30 minutes you can charge the battery of the Petzl NAO within 5 hours.

Usually, I also take an additional battery with me such as the Anker PowerCore 2000 to charge my headlamp and other USB devices during my trips. You can also adjust the straps on the sides and on the top.

I also have the Petzl NAO Belt Kit, which allows me to carry the battery in my backpack or on my belt rather than on my head. It feels much better to carry less weight on the head but also prevents battery drain if the temperatures are low.

With the OS by Petzl, you are also able to adjust the light levels on your PC and Mac.

The Petzl NAO is my preferred headlamp. If you are looking for a lighter headlamp which can also be charged by USB, then have a look at the Black Diamond Spot.

You can also get an additional rechargeable battery for the NAO+.


Petzl Reactik+

Weight: 4 oz. / 115 grams
Lumen: 300
Watertightness: IP X4 (water resistant)
Max Beam Distance: 110 meters

The Petzl Reactik+ comes with 300 Lumens and a customizable beam pattern, burn time and brightness.

Petzl also offers an app to download to access information o remaining burn time, activate and create lighting profiles. The headlamp connects through Bluetooth.

Reactive Lightning also provides longer burn time since the sensor of the headlamp adjusts brightness and beam pattern.

The Reactik+ also has a lock function, so it won’t accidentally turn on during travel. The 1800 mAh battery is also rechargeable through the USB port. Moreover, there is also a red lightning mode.


Petzl Tikka XP

Weight: 4.2 oz. / 119 grams
Lumen: 180
Watertightness: IP X4 (water resistant)
Max Beam Distance: 75 meters

If you don’t like to carry the additional battery pack on your head and prefer a less bulky headlamp, then the Tikka XP might be the right choice. It also comes with large buttons which allow ease of use.

The Tikka XP features spot and flood beams. There is also the red LEDs which you can use during the night for less eye fatigue and the one-touch boost to quickly access the maximum brightness.

The Petzl Tikka XP also activates it’s reserve mode once batteries are running low. You can either use 3 AAA NiMH or lithium batteries.


Princeton Tec Axis

Weight: 2.9 oz. / 83 grams
Lumen: 200
Watertightness: IP X4 (watertight)
Max Beam Distance: 58 meters

The Princeton Tex Axis headlamp comes with a spot, flow and red mode which are all dimmable.

The headlamp operates on AAA batteries for up to 150 hours.


EasyAcc Rugged Outdoor Power Bank

If you plan to go on a longer trip, then it might be a good idea to charge your headlamp from time to time.

Just make sure that you can recharge the battery of your headlamp with a USB cable. The Power Bank is IP67 Waterproof and has a capacity of 20000 mAh.


Petzl Extension Cable for NAO+

In cold conditions, you can extend the battery life of your Petzl NAO+ by wearing the battery next to your body.

Just attach the extension cable between your battery and the headlamp, and you are ready to go.

FAQ on headlamps

What is the red light on a headlamp?

Red light keeps your eyes adjusted to the dark. You can also find red lights for example in submarines. Red light is great to use in the tent for example if you want to read a book.

Red light won’t fatigue your eyes that much than regular white light. It’s also won’t disturb others when you are on a camping site.


What is the green light on a headlamp?

Nocturnal animals might notice green light less during the night. For example, it might attract fewer bugs when you hang around in camp.

The green light is also less harsh on your eyes than red or white. However, you may lose some color information.


Rechargeable Lithium-ion or alkalines batteries

New headlamp models also offer you the possibility to recharge their lithium-ion batteries through its USB socket.

The difference between alkalines and lithium-ion is that you can operate the headlamp with fully charged alkalines longer than with a fully charged lithium-ion headlamp.

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